I make a list of awesome things to do every year and one of them is to hike a new mountain.
I make it a priority to hike atleast once a year. The first mountain I conquered was Mt. Ulap which I wrote about last year.
I had just started at my new job at a local company, and I wanted to meet as many people as I can since I had always been working from home (4 years at an International company). I thought it was the quickest way to learn about the company culture and Filipino workers in general. So, when I saw an email from the Smart Mountaineering Group, I signed up immediately. I didn’t even question if I was physically ready. I had to do it.
One week before the event, I hydrated a lot. Like 3-liters-of-water-per-day a lot. Then I did carbo loading. Since my schedule couldn’t afford a workout yet I always went out for long walks during breaks. Most of my stuff I bought at Decathlon Alabang. Aside from the tent which cost Php 1600 only, everything cost me around Php 2500, that includes the 40L waterproof ad air-cooling bag, hiking shoes, fleece jacket, fast-absorbing towel, dri-fit, cap, etc.
Mt. Pigingan is located in Itogon, Benguet.
Major jumpoff: Sitio Balocloc, Brgy. Dalupirip, Itogon
LLA: 1328 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 1-2 days / 5-7 hours
Specs: Borderline major, Difficulty 4/9, Trail class 1-4
Features: Pine forests, scenic views of the Cordilleras
From the jumpoff, it takes a 30-minute jeepney ride going to the banks of Agno River. From then, it’s a long trek going to the foot of the mountain. Pigingan is a more challenging hike compared to Ulap. A lot of rocky slopes, assaults and few water sources. But overall, it’s one of the purest, most serene and unpredictable adventure.
I created a 5-minute video of the full hiking experience. Watch it here.
Here are some of the photos that really capture the beauty of Mt.Pigingan.
This scene greeted us after a 4-5 hour hike. It’s truly breathtaking.
The view from the summit. Just shortly after sunrise. The best view comes after the hardest climb.
For me, hiking is a spiritual practice.
Being with nature is being with God.
I do it to humble myself. To detach from work, routine, materialism. Because when you get to the very end; and you’re looking at the vastness and majesty of Creation around you; you realize how small you are in all of this and yet so special in the eyes of God. Because while you stand in the Summit, God is saying,” Look, I made all of this for you”.
The Naked Eye. Photo was taken by AJ Flores who takes really great pictures. My friend Eunice has this app that maps out constellations and gives very detailed facts about stars and their history.
It’s always a beautiful time when we spend it with nature. I hope to encourage people to take a break from city life and to just detach and explore the wonderful places available to us. It opens you up and it changes you.
“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than trees.” – Thoreau